Today in Labor History

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Archive for the month “September, 2015”

September 30, 1911

September 30Railroad shopmen in 28 cities strike the Illinois Central Railroad and Harriman lines over management’s refusal to negotiate with a coalition of shop craft unions. Management obtained sweeping injunctions against them and relied on police and armed guards to escort scabs to and from work. The strike ended in 1915.

September 29, 2010

AFFICHE_No_Austerity_EN_1Tens of thousands of protesters take to the streets of Europe, striking against government austerity measures. Workers in more than a dozen countries participated, including Spain, Belgium, Greece, Portugal, Ireland, Slovenia, and Lithuania, protesting job losses, retirement deferments, pension reductions, and cuts to schools, hospitals, and welfare services.

September 27, 1903

Old97WreckThe Old 97 – a Southern Railway train officially known as the Fast Mail – derails near Danville, Virginia, killing eleven people, including the train’s engineer, Joseph “Steve” Broady, who many believe had been ordered to speed to make up for lost time. A number of ballads were written about the wreck, the most popular of which became an early country hit and the first million-selling record in the U.S.

September 26, 2013

timthumbTeachers in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil – on strike since early August over proposed wage cuts and loss of job security – occupy the City Council chambers before a vote on the proposed plan. A series of further actions led to an agreement that included raises for the teachers, a review of workload and curriculum requirements, and the reinstatement of all teachers who had been fired during the strike.

September 20, 1891

sharecroppingAfrican American sharecroppers affiliated with the Colored Farmers’ National Alliance and Union go on strike for higher wages and an end to peonage in Lee County, Arkansas. By the time a white mob – led by the local sheriff – put down the strike, more than a dozen people had been killed.

September 19, 1981

tumblr_mvwcv1F3lW1qj171uo1_500More than 260,000 people converge on Washington, DC, for Solidarity Day, a march and rally for “Jobs, Justice, Compassion” in response to President Ronald Reagan’s anti-worker, anti-union policies. 250 organizations – including unions, civil rights, religious, and social justice – participated.

September 18, 2000

Rusty padlock and chain on gates of closed automobile plant

A two-year strike by and subsequent lockout of 2,900 workers represented by the United Steelworkers at five Kaiser Aluminum plants in three states ends following binding arbitration. At issue were wages and benefits, contracting out work, and job cuts, among others. It was the longest and largest lockout in the history of the union.

September 17, 1989

1989_pittston_coal_strike_a_battle_for_workers_rigFive months into a Pittston Company mine strike, nearly 100 workers stage a sit-down strike in the Moss 3 central coal processing plant and successfully cease production for four days, supported by thousands of people outside the plant. A strike settlement was announced on January 1, 1990, which included a new contract that reinstated the health and retirement benefits that the company had stripped away.

September 13, 1971

Attica_riot-1024x772A four-day revolt at the Attica Correctional Facility near Buffalo, New York, over prisoners’ demands for political rights and better living conditions ends when hundreds of state police officers storm the complex, killing 29 prisoners and 10 AFSCME-represented prison employees, and wounding 89. “We are men. We are not beasts, and we do not intend to be beaten or driven as such.” –L.D. Barkley, a 21 year-old prisoner serving time for breaching parole by driving without a license; he died in the assault, shot 15 times at point-blank range.

September 12, 2012

120913030231-karachi-factory-fire-photo-horizontal-large-galleryA fire at a textile factory complex in Karachi, Pakistan, kills nearly 300 workers trapped behind locked doors and barred windows. It happened just hours after another fire at a shoe factory in Lahore killed at least 25 workers. Labor leaders blamed government abandonment of enforcing laws and regulations established to ensure workplace health and safety.

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